The State Of Reagan

Once more with feeling -- but did anyone care?

If the calendar could have been turned back a year or two, the speech might have been one of Ronald Reagan's most effective. Certainly the President . looked well, despite his recent prostate surgery and advancing age (he will turn 76 on Friday). His voice for the most part was as smooth as ever, though it turned a bit raspy toward the end. All the old conservative themes ("we've created a welfare monster"), all the usual ebullient optimism ("freedom is on the march"), all the familiar patriotic flourishes ("starting the third century of a dream") rang through his 40-minute talk. Relieved...